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W. W. Norton & Company

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

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Title: Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
Author: Stephen Greenblatt
ISBN: 0393050572
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Published: 2004
Binding: Hardcover
Language: English
Condition: Used: Very Good
Clean, unmarked copy with some edge wear. Good binding. Dust jacket included if issued with one. We ship in recyclable American-made mailers. 100% money-back guarantee on all orders.

Biography 1445024

Publisher Description:
Stephen Greenblatt, the charismatic Harvard professor who knows more about Shakespeare than Ben Jonson or the Dark Lady did (John Leonard, Harper's), has written a biography that enables us to see, hear, and feel how an acutely sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan life; full of drama and pageantry, and also cruelty and danger; could have become the world's greatest playwright. A young man from the provinces--a man without wealth, connections, or university education--moves to London. In a remarkably short time he becomes the greatest playwright not just of his age but of all time. His works appeal to urban sophisticates and first-time theatergoers; he turns politics into poetry; he recklessly mingles vulgar clowning and philosophical subtlety. How is such an achievement to be explained?

Will in the World interweaves a searching account of Elizabethan England with a vivid narrative of the playwright's life. We see Shakespeare learning his craft, starting a family, and forging a career for himself in the wildly competitive London theater world, while at the same time grappling with dangerous religious and political forces that took less-agile figures to the scaffold. Above all, we never lose sight of the great works--A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, and more--that continue after four hundred years to delight and haunt audiences everywhere. The basic biographical facts of Shakespeare's life have been known for over a century, but now Stephen Greenblatt shows how this particular life history gave rise to the world's greatest writer. Bringing together little-known historical facts and little-noticed elements of Shakespeare's plays, Greenblatt makes inspired connections between the life and the works and deliver a dazzling and subtle biography (Richard Lacayo, Time). Readers will experience Shakespeare's vital plays again as if for the first time, but with gre